Broadcasters and publishers must comply with new laws on third party advertising during the municipal election.
The Brockville municipal election will take place on Monday, October 22, 2018.
This notice is intended to inform broadcasters and publishers of their new obligations under the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 (the Act) if they broadcast or publish a third party advertisement during the upcoming municipal election.
This notice is for reference only; for legal advice, please consult legal counsel.
What is a Registered Third Party Advertiser?
Under the Act, a registered third party advertiser is an individual, corporation or trade union that has registered with the Clerk of the municipality where they want to advertise.
Third party advertisers must register prior to incurring any expenses for the appearance of a third party advertisement, and must comply with requirements including filing a financial statement(s), spending and contribution limits. A list of registered third party advertisers will be available on the City website.
What is a Third Party Advertisement?
A third party advertisement is a message in any broadcast, print, electronic or other medium that has the purpose of promoting, supporting or opposing a candidate in the election, or a question on the ballot.
Third party advertisements must contain the name of the registered third party, the municipality where they are registered, and contact information (telephone number, mailing address or email address) at which the registered third party may be contacted regarding the advertisement.
Restricted Campaign Period
Broadcasters and publishers may only permit third party advertisements to appear between May 1, 2018 and October 22, 2018 (Election Day).
New Legal Obligations for Third Party Advertisers
The new requirements for broadcasters and publishers include:
1. Mandatory information
A registered third party advertiser must provide the following information to the broadcaster or publisher in writing before the third party advertisement appears:
- Name of the registered third party
- Name of the business address and telephone number of the individual who deals with the broadcaster or publisher under the direction of the registered third party
- Municipality where the registered third party is registered
2. Maintaining records
The broadcaster or publisher of a third party advertisement must maintain records for 4 years after the date the advertisement appears. These records must contain:
- Mandatory information described above, as outlined under section 88.5 (2) of the Act
- A copy of the advertisement, or the means of reproducing it for inspection
- A statement of charge made for its appearance
The public must be permitted to inspect the records during normal business hours.
3. Charges and contributions
The broadcaster or publisher may not charge a third party advertiser more or less than their normal advertising rate. If less is charged, the difference is deemed to be a contribution to the third party advertiser. Providing free advertising is considered a contribution towards the third party advertiser, unless all third party advertisers are offered the same service.
4. Broadcasters or publishers as third party advertisers
Broadcasters or publishers who wish to conduct third party advertising must register as a third party advertiser and follow the Act's requirements. A Third Party Advertisers' guide, published by the Government of Ontario, will be provided upon registration.